New stamp pays tribute to legendary actor Christopher Plummer

October 13, 2021
3 minute read
The stage and screen actor played a leading role in selecting the stamp that celebrates his 70-year career

With the release of our latest commemorative stamp, we are honoured to pay tribute to Christopher Plummer (1929-2021), one of the world’s most distinguished actors.

Over his incredible 70-year career, Mr. Plummer earned countless awards and honours, including a Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG and Genie. He is among a select group of performers – and the only Canadian – to achieve the triple crown of acting, in his case, two Emmys, two Tonys and an Academy Award.

He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada and a recipient of a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement Award. He was inducted into both Canada’s Walk of Fame and the Theater Hall of Fame (U.S.), and received a number of honorary doctorates, including from McGill University, the University of Toronto and New York’s Juilliard School.

By critics, colleagues and fans, he’s been described as brilliant, wise and irreplaceable.

An illustrious career

Mr. Plummer, who was born in Toronto and raised mostly in Montreal, helped choose the roles he wished to feature on the stamp. This was no easy task.

The actor had appeared in more than 200 films, television movies and mini-series, and captivated theatre audiences from Broadway to the Stratford Festival, where he made his debut in 1956.

The praise he received from his on-stage Shakespearian and classical roles, including Hamlet, Macbeth and Julius Caesar, distinguished Mr. Plummer among his peers – as did the trajectory of his career.

While most actors slow down in their golden years, Mr. Plummer did the opposite. He embraced his age, taking on a number of acclaimed roles, and giving some of his most memorable performances.

In 2010, at the age of 80, he was nominated for his first Academy Award for his supporting actor performance as Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station. In 2012, he won his first Oscar for his supporting role in Beginners, in which he played a 75-year-old with terminal cancer who comes out as gay after the death of his wife.

He showcased his famous wit and impish charm as he accepted the Oscar statue to a standing ovation: “You’re only two years older than me, darling. Where have you been all my life?”

He would amaze audiences for nearly a decade more, snagging notable roles in films such as All the Money in the World (2017) and the surprise hit Knives Out (2019), which grossed more than $310 million worldwide.

The Christopher Plummer stamp

When Canada Post first approached Plummer in 2019, he was thrilled at the prospect of being featured on a Canadian stamp. He was consulted in the process from the very beginning and helped choose the five roles that appear on the stamp to represent his much loved and celebrated career.

  • Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music: His role in the 1965 movie brought him fame on the big screen, and a lifelong friendship with co-star Julie Andrews.
  • Rudyard Kipling in The Man Who Would Be King: He appeared in the 1975 adventure film alongside Sean Connery and Michael Caine.
  • John Barrymore in Barrymore: After nearly 30 years away from the Stratford stage, he returned in 1996 to play the role that would earn him his second Tony – he took home his first in 1974 for his performance as Cyrano de Bergerac in the musical Cyrano. Mr. Plummer later reprised the Barrymore role for the 2011 Canadian film adaptation.
  • King Lear in King Lear: There were plans for Mr. Plummer, who portrayed the lead role in the 2002 Stratford production, to star in a big-screen adaptation that was to begin shooting in Newfoundland this past summer.
  • Prospero in The Tempest: The highly anticipated 2010 play did not disappoint, as Richard Ouzounian, then theatre critic for the Toronto Star, wrote of his performance: “This is probably the funniest production of The Tempest you will ever see … because Plummer sees the wit in Shakespeare like no one else and inspires everyone around him to think that way.”

Behind these images, the stamp further pays tribute to Mr. Plummer’s unique talent with a moody, tempestuous background that symbolizes the drama he brought to the stage and screen, which we hope audiences will continue to discover for generations to come.

On Feb 5, 2021, at the age of 91, Christopher Plummer passed away at his Weston, Connecticut home.

New stamp pays tribute to legendary actor Christopher Plummer

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